Vegemite is considered a national institution in Australia but doesn’t have much international appeal. In other words, you may have a hard time finding it in brick and mortar stores, which means that you will probably have to use a substitute if you need some immediately. Here are some of the best Vegemite substitutes available:
Your best bet: Marmite
Like Vegemite, Marmite is a savory spread and it also has brewer’s yeast as one of the main ingredients. The similarities between these spreads are deliberate since Vegemite is actually an imitation of Marmite, which was the original product. While they don’t taste exactly the same, the flavors are close enough that they are used in the same ways — on toast and in gravies. Marmite is vegetarian just like Vegemite.
Despite the fact that they have more similarities than differences, there are a few factors that you should take into account before using Marmite as a Vegemite substitute. Marmite has a notably milder and sweeter flavor than Vegemite, which has a more intense flavor with a bitter edge. You may need to use more Marmite to get the same amount of flavor as Vegemite.
Marmite has a lighter color than Vegemite, which means that it won’t be as effective for giving your stews and roasts a dark brown color. Marmite is medium brown. Its color is similar to that of dark brown sugar while Vegemite is closer to dark soy sauce and is almost black.
A decent second choice: Promite
Another yeast-based savory spread from Australia, Promite is owned by an American company but is made in Australia and mainly consumed there as well. While it lacks the iconic status of Vegemite, it is meant to be eaten in the same way — on toast or in soups and gravies — and has a very similar umami flavor profile.
Promite is not as aggressively savory as Vegemite; it has a little sweetness that makes it comparable to Marmite. Promite has a similar nutritional profile to Vegemite with a significant amount of B vitamins.
In a pinch: Bovril
Like Vegemite, Bovril is another savory spread popular in some former British colonies. Bovril has a spreadable consistency along with a dark color similar to that of Vegemite. The taste of Bovril is also quite strong, so you probably won’t have to compensate for a lack of flavor by adding more of it.
Unlike Vegemite, Bovril is made with beef extract so you can’t use it in vegan or vegetarian dishes. It also lacks many of the nutrients found in Vegemite, so it won’t give you as much of the B vitamins. Bovril’s flavor is somewhat different from Vegemite’s and it doesn’t have the same yeasty smell. What it does have is a deep meatiness that is almost earthy with strong hints of coffee and chocolate.
The fact that Bovril is meat-based makes it the superior option for enhancing the umami notes in gravies and soups.
Oxo was another invention of Justus Liebig, the inventor of Marmite. Not only did he invent both Oxo and Marmite, but he also came up with them at around the same time. The Oxo Foods company makes a range of stock cubes that are used to flavor dishes but the original — the variety that Liebig invented — is the beef flavor. You can’t spread it on bread, but it does enhance flavor in soups and gravies.
Mightymite is yet another savory yeast spread from Australia. Like Vegemite, it is rich in B vitamins and has a similar savory flavor and smooth consistency. Mightymite is advertised as having less sodium than Vegemite.